Foto: Shutterstock - fra nasjonal rapport
Foto: Shutterstock - fra nasjonal rapport

UHR Report from the Survey on Bullying and Harassment in Norwegian Institutions of Higher Education

KHiO received the UHR Report from the Survey on Bullying and Harassment in Norwegian Institutions of Higher Education.

Background

In the wake of the MeToo movement, the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (UHR) appointed a task force to coordinate the various institutions’ efforts to survey, prevent and ensure satisfactory systems whereby staff and students could blow the whistle on and follow up instances of bullying and harassment.

Following a proposal from the University of Agder (UiA), the University of Oslo (UiO) and the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHiO), a national survey of the higher education sector was initiated. The survey was carried out by Ipsos on behalf of UiA.

26 of the 31 UHR institutions participated in the survey, which was carried out in the period 20 May–11 June 2019.

The survey collects information from staff at Norwegian institutions of higher education. The survey does not include students, given that the topic was thoroughly addressed in the SHoT survey of 2018.

Reports have been drafted on the basis of the survey, both for all the institutions as a whole and for each individual institution. For the sake of anonymity and privacy, institutions with a low number of respondents – including KHiO – have not published any figures that may identify the department/section or people in question.

The survey has led to the following primary findings, both nationally and for KHiO:

Norwegian institutions of higher education as a whole KHiO
Respondents Requests to participate in the survey were sent to 42,778 staff at 26 participating institutions within higher education. In total, the survey was answered by 17,984 respondents (42% response rate). Requests to participate in the survey were sent to 328 staff at KHiO. In total, the survey was answered by 120 respondents (37% response rate, which is 5% below the national average).
Bullying and harassment Of the 17,984 survey respondents, 13% state they were bullied or harassed during the previous 12 months.

More older than younger respondents stated they were bullied or harassed during the previous 12 months.

Among the 50–59 age group, 15% of the respondents state they have been bullied or harassed, something that is higher than the other age groups and significantly more frequent than the average.
Of the 120 respondents in total, 19 state they were bullied or harassed during the previous 12 months.

Den hyppigste formen for trakassering er verbal trakassering, men ikke-verbal og digital blir også oppgitt.

The most common form of harassment is verbal harassment, but also non-verbal and digital harassment were indicated.

In the main, respondents state that is was a colleague of equal status who bullied or harassed them.

There are no gender differences, but we observe a substantial difference in regard to the respondents’ age. 95% of the respondents who indicate having been bullied/harassed are over 40 years, and 70% are over 50 years.
Sexual harassment 299 of the 17,984 respondents state they have been sexually harassed during the previous 12 months; this represents 1.6% of the respondents.

Of these, 79% are women and 21% are men, and they are more frequently younger than older. 51% of the instances were reported by people between 18 and 39 years, and this is a higher percentage than in the older age groups.

Research fellows are the group with the highest percentage that state they have been sexually harassed.
Of the 120 respondents, one indicated having been sexually harassed during the previous 12 months, this represents 0,83 % of the respondents.

For the sake of anonymity and privacy, neither the given subcategories nor the individual’s replies to follow-up questions will be commented on here.
Sexually violated 18 of the 17,984 respondents state they have been sexually violated.

Research fellows state more frequently than other groups that they have been sexually violated; of the 18 respondents in question, 7 are research fellows.

Of the 18 respondents who state they have been sexually violated, 11 are women and 7 are men. Of the 35 respondents who are unsure, 16 are women, 17 are men and 2 do not define their gender binarily.
None of the 120 respondents state they have been sexually violated.
Familiarity and experience with the whistleblowing system 48% of the respondents state that they know how to find the whistleblowing system.

32% don’t know about the system, while 19% don’t know or are unsure whether they know how to find the whistleblowing system.
68% of the respondents state that they know how to find the whistleblowing system; this is 20% above the national average.

14% don’t know about the system, while 18% don’t know or are unsure whether they know how to find the whistleblowing system.

KHiO

KHiO’s rector made the following comment to the press upon receiving the institution report:

Zero tolerance for bullying and harassment

“The Oslo National Academy of the Arts has a zero-tolerance policy for bullying and sexual harassment,” says KHiO’s rector Måns Wrange. “This policy has been clearly laid down in the Academy’s ethical guidelines, and the institution has also put in place whistleblowing procedures. Fortunately, the UHR survey shows that these procedures are well known among the survey’s respondents. But the survey’s high bullying and harassment figures concern me greatly, and it is completely unacceptable for any staff to experience being harassed or bullied at work. I had decided previously that the psychosocial working environment and anti-bullying and anti-harassment measures would be one of the high-priority areas at the Academy over the upcoming years. My ambition is also to establish a close collaboration with other institutions of higher learning and to use the skills and knowledge of outside experts to strongly prevent harassment and bullying.”

The following measures have been implemented at KHiO:

The Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHiO) takes bullying and harassment with the utmost seriousness. Motivated by the dearth of knowledge about the scope of bullying and harassment, KHiO was one of the institutions that initiated the survey. By obtaining specific figures, we progress from loose opining to factual information. Such information provides a fundament for implementing measures in the effort to prevent and follow up bullying and harassment.

Zero-tolerance policy for bullying and harassment

In 2015 the board of KHiO laid down ethical guidelines with a zero-tolerance policy for bullying and harassment. These guidelines supplement the national Ethical Guidelines for the Public Service.

Whistleblowing procedures

In 2018 the board laid down new whistleblowing procedures, including an overview of how staff and students can report on wrongdoing in the workplace in a responsible manner, and how notifications will be processed by an internal whistleblowing team and an external whistleblowing panel. The whistleblowing procedures emphasise that staff have a particular duty to blow the whistle on instances of workplace bullying and harassment.

Guidelines for dealing with conflicts

In 2014 the Working Environment Committee (AMU) adopted dedicated guidelines for dealing with conflicts and for involving a third party in the event of a conflict.

Action plan for a safe learning environment

KHiO has dealt with a number of specific whistleblowing cases where it has been determined that the academy’s guidelines were violated. The cases have resulted in disciplinary action taking place, up to and including termination of contract.

As the result of whistleblowing cases where violations of KHiO’s ethical guidelines came to the fore, a dedicated action plan for a safe learning environment, called #medlysetpå (“With the Light On”), was drafted in 2018. This has been a topic at several board and Working Environment Committee meetings. The primary measures implemented through #medlysetpå are as follows:

  • A new intranet page for students was set up, titled Speak Up about the Learning Environment, featuring an overview of what a student should know about when blowing the whistle and of where they can seek assistance.
  • KHiO participated in a task force against bullying and sexual harassment under the auspices of UHR. - KHiO helped initiate a survey on bullying and harassment in Norwegian higher education in order to obtain a more secure factual basis.
  • The topic was addressed at internal seminars with external speakers, as well as at faculty meetings at the various departments, at the general assembly and in the letters from the rector
  • KHiO’s ethical guidelines are currently being revised with the aim of simplifying the language and drafting a list of dos and don’ts concerning bullying and harassment.

Work environment survey (ARK).

KHiO carries out a work environment survey every other year. ARK (the Working Environment and Climate Survey) compares the entire higher education sector and is carried out under the auspices of NTNU in Trondheim.

ARK provides information on our well-being in the workplace, but does not ask directly about bullying and harassment. The questions that are asked relate to five main areas: work relations, work demands, individual resources, collegial resources and organisational resources. Additional questions concern role conflicts, personal conflicts and dysfunctional support.

In the wake of these surveys, measures have been drafted and implemented in the various departments/sections.

KHiO has carried out an employee development project, which is a measure that is directly related to findings from the ARK surveys, which identified the need to develop a common culture, define clearer goals and clarify the various roles at KHiO.

Internal process

Management, staff representatives and finally the staff will be briefed by the director on 21 August about the imminent publication of the rapport.

The national rapport will be published by UHR on Thursday, 22 August 2019, at 12:00. Pål Stephensen (corporate governance) and Atle Faye (communication) will be present.

The institution report for KHiO will be given a delayed publication, cf. section 5 of the Freedom of Information Act, and will be made accessible to the media in its entirety on Friday, 23 August, first for members of staff (at 12:00) and then the media (at 14:00).

There will be a joint meeting between management, staff representatives and safety representatives on Friday, 23 August, at 11:30–12:30.

On Wednesday, 28 August, at 12:00–13:00, staff will be invited to a meeting on the topic at the Main Stage at KHiO. Mads Motrøen, who was in charge of carrying out the survey at Ipsos, will present the institution report for KHiO and respond to any questions. Representatives from management and the human resources section will be in attendance along with the leader of the Working Environment Committee
.

Someone to talk with

Should any staff members at Norwegian institutions of higher education want to talk with someone outside of the workplace, a telephone-based assistance service has been established at the Centre for Crisis Psychology (tel. 908 42 775). The telephone is open around the clock from Thursday, 22 August (from 13:00), to Sunday, 1 September.

Media requests

Members of the media who want to see the institution report for KHiO must submit a written request for access to  postmottak@khio.no, see also more information at khio.no.
It is the school’s rector, or anyone the rector should duly authorise, who will speak on behalf of KHiO.
All media requests shall be coordinated by the team leader for communication
.

More information:

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Institusjonsrapport

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